Occasionally I’ll allow a guest post such as this to come in as I see the need to have the people in the right positions to help with the abuse epidemic in this country. You never know, I might have a reader who is asking themselves “What do I want to do with my life?” …. you never know. 😉
Preventing Child Abuse in the United States
It’s easy to think that child abuse is rare in this country, and that it would never be an issue in your own backyard. Unfortunately, neglect and abuse are more common than you might imagine, and it can occur anywhere, in any neighborhood. In fact, in 2015, 683,000 were abused or neglected in the United States. Physical, sexual, and psychological abuse can all be extremely damaging to children long-term, and it is important for abused children to be able to distance themselves from the abusive situation.
In many cases, these children don’t have anyone to turn to or advocate for them. They may not even be able to speak for themselves, especially if they are very young. Children under the age of one are most at risk for becoming victims, and since most children are nonverbal at this age, they can’t reach out for help in any way. Overall, kids under the age of three make up 27.7% of victims. The vast majority of children who are abused are maltreated by their parent or parents. Just 13.3% of victimized children were abused by someone other than the child’s parent.
Child abuse can have lasting repercussions that follow children as they become adults. They not only are six times more likely to commit suicide and 50% more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, they can also become a danger to those around them. Abused children are 74% more likely to commit a violent offense than children who were not abused.
Even though child abuse is universally reviled, many children don’t have the resources they need. Social workers play an important role as advocates for children in dangerous situations. As trained professionals, they are often able to spot the signs of child abuse and get kids the help they need, whether that means educating families, visiting children in their homes, or helping to get families housing. While everyone can speak up if they think a child is being maltreated, social workers are uniquely equipped with the skills to truly help kids heal from the trauma of abuse. Their role is crucial in the ongoing effort to prevent child abuse from affecting the lives of children throughout the country.
Check out the infographic below created by Rutgers University’s online master of social work degree program